Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Interpersonal Violence





First Page


Last Page


DOI of Original Publication



Published in final edited form as: J Interpers Violence. 2012 Jun; 27(9): 1780–1801. doi: 10.1177/0886260511430392 PMCID: PMC3315595 NIHMSID: NIHMS333024 Karen G. Chartier was at the University of Texas School of Public Health at the time of initial publication.

Date of Submission

June 2015


Despite the growing number of interethnic marriages in the U.S., few studies have examined intimate partner violence (IPV) in interethnic couples. This article examined past-year occurrences of IPV across interethnic and intra-ethnic couples and tested correlates of IPV specifically in interethnic couples. Data were from a national survey of couples 18 years of age and older from the 48 contiguous states. Interethnic couples (n = 116) included partners from different ethnic backgrounds, including black-white, Hispanic-white, and black-Hispanic couples. White (n = 555), black (n = 358), and Hispanic (n = 527) intra-ethnic couples included partners with the same ethnicity. Data analyses were prevalence rates and logistic regressions. The analyses showed that interethnic couples were comparatively younger and had shorter relationships than intra-ethnic white, black, and Hispanic couples. Male partners in interethnic couples had higher rates of binge drinking and alcohol problems compared to male partners in intra-ethnic couples. Past year prevalence rates for any occurrence of IPV and acts of severe IPV were higher for interethnic couples relative to intra-ethnic couples. Most occurrences of IPV for interethnic couples were mutual. Factors predicting IPV among interethnic couples included marital status, couples’ age, male alcohol problems, and female impulsivity. Mounting evidence points to interethnic couples as a high risk group for IPV. Interethnic couples may be at greater risk for IPV because of their younger age, binge drinking and alcohol problems. Future research could build on this study by examining cohort effects and regional differences in IPV for interethnic couples, and the risk for IPV across interethnic couples of different ethnic compositions.


© The Author(s) 2012. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in J Interpers Violence. 2012 Jun; 27(9): 1780–1801. The final publication is available at

Is Part Of

VCU Social Work Publications